Multi-agent Contracting and Reconfiguration in Competitive Environments using Acquaintance Models

J. Bíba, J. Vokřínek


Cooperation of agents in competitive environments is more complicated than in collaborative environments. Both replanning and reconfiguration play a crucial role in cooperation, and introduce a means for implementating a system flexibility. The concepts of commitments, decommitments with penalties and subcontracting may facilitate effective reconfiguration and replanning. Agents in competitive environments are fully autonomous and selfinterested. Therefore the setting of penalties and profit computation cannot be provided centrally. Both the costs and the gain differ from agent to agent with respect to contracts already agreed and resources load. This paper proposes an acquaintance model for contracting in competitive environments and introduces possibilities of reconfigurating in competitive environments as a means of decommitment optimization with respect to resources load and profit maximization. The presented algorithm for contract price setting does not use any centralized knowledge and provides results corresponding to a realistic environment. A simple customerprovider scenario proves this algorithm in competitive contracting. 


Multi-agent systems; competitive environments; reconfiguration; decommitment; contract price; penalty.

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague